Elimination Diet and Food Sensitivities - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-16-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am hoping for some mama support/insight. Here is the story:

 

DS2 was a terribly hard newborn. He was very fussy (never seemed gassy though) and hard to settle. He would cry for hours a day and nothing I did seem to help. I didn't really think it was my diet because he was never gassy. He just seemed irritable and had a hard time falling asleep.

 

Fast Forward: DS2 is now 5 mo. He has suffered with minor eczema since about 1 or 2 mo. When he was first born he got a really bad contact dermatitis on his face from sleeping in bed with me on sheets washed with tide. I never thought to re-wash my sheets b/c DS1 had no problem with sensitive skin. I also have eczema. It has been a lot worse PP greensad.gif but it's on my scalp so my hair hides it and it doesn't bother me that much. DS2's eczema is mild but it bothers me that something is not right.  I don't like my little baby having dry flaky, patchy skin... Almost 3 weeks ago I decided to go wheat and dairy free to see if our eczema could be a food allergy or sensitivity. In the last 3 weeks mine has gotten about 60% better.  DS2's has gotten maybe 30% better, if that. I know it will take time to heal (and I did cheat with wheat once about 1 week in) but I expected a better response to my changed diet. I am thinking that maybe I should cut something else out.. The problem is that I have already lost so much weight. I try to keep my calories up but it's really hard for me without the wheat and dairy. I'm not a big person to begin with and I am borderline being underweight which I don't think is good considering I'm BF'ing DS2 and pumping for DS1.

 

 

What should I do? I need some guidance and our 'normal' pediatrician just wants me to use cortisone cream angry.gif I am considering adding wheat back in just to keep my calories and also b/c I'm guessing it is more of a dairy/casein allergy than wheat. I just don't know how I am supposed to really know what the route of this problem is. Any advice is appreciated :)


Wifey to my DH 9/2005 and always busy SAHM  to my beautiful boys  twins.gif   Elijah 12/2008 and Caeleb 6/2010
Our baby girl  stork-girl.gif is arriving October 2012!!!

 

 

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#2 of 11 Old 11-16-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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minus the ecsema on me, you are speaking my story. Almost exactly. My ds is now 8 mos and at about 61/2 mos I BEGGED his dr for a blood allergy test to figure out what to cut out of my diet. It came back wheat, fish, eggs, dairy, soy, and peanuts. I cut them all and he has gotten better, except I can gauge it by his bowel movements, because he rarely had them when he was bugged by those foods. He got better and his skin cleared up, and I gave him 3 oz!! of milk I pumped b4 I changed my diet and he now hasnt pooped since then which was 2 wks ago. I went to a dr today and had him muscle tested and corn and chocolate came up too. So I will be cutting them out too. Ds was REALLY FUSSY when he was born, like, I couldnt put him down all day. My dh would come home to me in the same spot on the couch, rocking and rocking a miserable child. He is STILL fussy, but waay better. He just started sleeping good at night, and its been since I cut out wheat, dairy, peanuts, etc.I have found a way to get all my calories without wheat and dairy, if you like pasta I do rice pasta, which is remarkably similar to wheat, and I do oatmeal for breakfast as I read it helps with milk production, too, and lots of fruits and veggies, and I just recently made hummus from scratch (super easy) or you can buy it, and I do smoothies, and spelt bread (daves killer bread spelt is the BEST Ive found, tho it had a small amount of gluten, but no wheat). I eat lunch meat, I bake chickens, or cook a bunch of breasts and keep them in the fridge, I also like marys gone crackers with sunflower butter, and coconut milk products have saved me, cocnut milk coffee creamer, ice cream, milk, etc I am so grateful for it, as soy stuff is so gross to me. Hope this all helps.

I would say, tell them your not going to do hydrocortisone until you get to the bottom of it, and you want a blood allergy test referred. Ds dr was telling me to give him prune juice to poop, hyrocortisone for skin, etc, and I told them I didnt believe he was a case of just symptoms. I wanted to know what was underlying, and they finally gave in. And his drs are way more forward thinking than some Ive read about. ds has insurance that covers referals so it was free for us and at least gave me aplace to start. Its hard to not eat all these things, but Im doing it for my baby, that makes it easier. I was adamant about no steroids for ds skin.


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#3 of 11 Old 11-17-2010, 07:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by icy02 View Post
The problem is that I have already lost so much weight. I try to keep my calories up but it's really hard for me without the wheat and dairy. I'm not a big person to begin with and I am borderline being underweight which I don't think is good considering I'm BF'ing DS2 and pumping for DS1.

 


Wheat and dairy are such staples for most people that figuring out where to get calories when you're not eating those things can be tough. The first few days I was off gluten, I felt hungry a lot, but now I think I'm getting the hang of it. Here are a few ideas that have been helping me. You might have to adjust depending on if some of these other foods are also problems for you, but this is what's currently working for us.

 

-For breakfast, DD and I share hot cereal (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free) cooked with a bunch of blueberries out of the freezer. Once it's cooked, I add a ton of nut butter and a bit of honey. The nut butter goes a long way in getting us some protein and fat.

-Popcorn makes a good snack. I pop ours on the stove with a generous amount of coconut oil, then top it with either Earth Balance and sea salt, or drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper and nutritional yeast.

-For dinners, I have been making a lot of soups lately (using quite a bit more oil than what recipes usually recommend and always including plenty of beans or lentils for protein) and then serving them with baked potatoes or sweet potato oven fries (where I usually would have served them with bread).

 

I hope that helps at least a little. I'm pretty new at this, but basically it seems to me like the key is making sure you're getting plenty of protein, whole grains (that you can eat) and fat. I don't think I've lost any weight so far on our elimination diet.


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#4 of 11 Old 11-17-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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Eat more fat, that makes a huge difference :).  Avocados, coconut milk, fry lots of stuff.  It will help keep your weight and supply up.

 

Are you off wheat, or off all gluten?

 

If you're off all gluten, the next steps would be to remove soy (often people who react to dairy react to soy as well) and corn (the other top 4 intolerances food, and often the culprit behind eczema).

 

There's lots to eat with these 4 foods removed, it's just a learning curve.  There's a resources sticky at the top of this forum with a great recipes thread.


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#5 of 11 Old 11-17-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The problem with my weight is that I am naturally thin. I normally eat a dessert and ice cream every night. I have been working on keeping my fat up :) We eat lots and lots of avocados, but I will try to add more coconut oil in. I also have been eating a lot of corn tortillas/chips as snacks. I have also been eating some soy milk (in my morning coffee and to wet my cereal). I think I really need to try adding wheat back in before I take something else out. Does that make sense??

 

Also, I failed to mention one more thing. DS2 is 5 mo but still poops a lot. Usually about 4 times a day. Is this something normal or is it signaling a food allergy? I would like to get him tested for food allergy's but our insurance is crap and I would have to pay for it all out of pocket :( If it is a warning signal for some kind of food sensitivity I am assuming it is something that I am still eating because cutting out wheat and dairy hasn't helped him in that department either.


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Our baby girl  stork-girl.gif is arriving October 2012!!!

 

 

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#6 of 11 Old 11-17-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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I think until you reach a baseline (symptoms gone) adding wheat back in is really counterproductive.  I hear your hunger - but wheat, nutritionally, is really easy to sub for.  Dairy is harder, but wheat is easy.

 

Of the top 4 intolerance foods (dairy, soy, wheat, corn), the only one with significant nutritional value is dairy - and that one there are some reasonable subs to try.  I know it's really hard when you're first trying to figure out what to eat - but you can most definitely eat well and gain weight just fine without those 4 in your life.

 

 

For ice cream, you can get really good coconut milk ice cream and yogurt (I made my own initially, to avoid any trace corn and stuff).  Curries with coconut milk.  Smoothies with peanut butter.  Salmon (lots of fat).  

 

Pooping lots a 5mo while breastfed is totally normal.

 

Allergy testing is hugely inaccurate in babies.  Also, it sounds like you are reacting to things you were eating (and maybe to things you still are).  Babies can react to YOUR reactions - and those won't show up on an allergy test either.

 

Also, often people with food intolerances have trouble digesting foods, so they don't get as many calories out.  Many kids on this forum go through a growth spurt and weight gain once they get off their reactive foods - so you may actually find it easier to keep your weight up once you find everything you're reacting to.


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#7 of 11 Old 11-18-2010, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your insight! Should I give it a few more weeks before I cut out soy and corn? Also, I heard eggs is another trigger. I've been eating 2 eggs every morning with my bfast. Is this something I should consider cutting out?


Wifey to my DH 9/2005 and always busy SAHM  to my beautiful boys  twins.gif   Elijah 12/2008 and Caeleb 6/2010
Our baby girl  stork-girl.gif is arriving October 2012!!!

 

 

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#8 of 11 Old 11-18-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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Our story is quite similar to Mamaklo, so I won't repeat it here.

 

We did do a rast (blood) test at 8 mos, and it was quite helpful to tell us what to remove from my diet. Eggs was one of them. They were one of the difficult things for me to eliminate because of the protein I was getting.

 

(but there were/are things that weren't positive on the rast test and were still problems)

 

I concur that it will likely be counter productive to add wheat back in at this point. There are lots of wheat subs available.

 

Are you keeping a food-symptom journal? I would start that for a week or 2 before eliminating your next thing(s).

 


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#9 of 11 Old 11-18-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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I'd eliminate corn & soy first, and I'd do it relatively soon - I think you know where you're at with dairy & gluten out.  Eggs would be next, but I'd try corn & soy first, then eggs if necessary, they're a hard one to lose.


Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#10 of 11 Old 11-22-2010, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, here's an update. I spoke with DS2's osteopath and she recommended avoiding all external triggers while I was continuing another week or so being dairy/wheat free. What seemed to have worked was the following: Luke warm bath with a few drops of tea tree oil, not allowing DS2 to soak more than 3-4 minutes. Then I rubbed lotion on him while he was still damp. I continued making sure he was well lubed up with lotion for the next few days. That seemed to really help and also washing with country save detergent and only using about 1/2 the recommending amount. 

 

Then on Saturday my wonderful DH made me some Paella at work (he's a chef :) cause I was craving it. He didn't think to check the ingredients on the chorizo :( I had Paella for lunch and dinner on Saturday. I woke up Sunday with a yucky stomach ache. I felt kind of constipated and just gross most of the day. DS2 didn't poop until late that afternoon (it was about 30 hrs with no BM when he normally goes about 4X/day) and when he did it was green and a weird (not normal BF'd consistency). Then a few hours later he had what seemed to me as green diarrhea all over the changing table 3 separate times! This has never happened to him. Then Monday morning after our AM nursing session he threw up all over the bed. It was so much I hate to change the sheets. I didn't know at the time it was because there was non-fat dry milk powder in the chorizo I ate. 

 

Now it's Monday evening and he is still having frequent "not normal" stools although they are a bit more yellowish-green in color. I am going to be prudent about keeping dairy and wheat out of my diet. I am just wondering how I find out if this is a lactose or a casein allergy/sensitivity???? I though it was casein because of the eczema and I started to incorporate goat cheese into my diet. I actually had some for lunch :( Probably not the smartest idea, but I had no idea about the milk in the chorizo until just a few minutes ago. I am thinking I also take goat dairy back out of my diet just in case it is lactose. 

 

What do you think??


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Our baby girl  stork-girl.gif is arriving October 2012!!!

 

 

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#11 of 11 Old 11-23-2010, 07:35 AM
 
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I think dairy in any amount can cause the bowel and vomiting problems you're experiencing with your DC. When I had the tiniest bit of dairy (McDonald's french fries), DS would react. I don't think you can nail it down to caesin or lactose or goat at this time. (DS reacted to goat kefir when I drank it.) Just take them all out until you get to a baseline, then trial them one at a time.OT - This new format has some sort of bug where the enter key doesn't work, and I can't see any cursor in the box. aarugh!

 

 

 


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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